Handbook of Microbiological Media, Fourth Edition

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ISBN 9781439804063
Cat# K10224



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  • Presents more than 7000 media formulations for microbiological applications across numerous fields
  • Organizes the media alphabetically, and for each entry includes synonyms, composition, instructions for preparation, commercial sources, and uses
  • Includes safety cautions where needed
  • Describes the ingredients that make up each medium, including their amounts in descending order, and the pH


Handbook of Microbiological Media, Fourth Edition is an invaluable reference for every medical, veterinary, diagnostic, and academic laboratory, and now in its fourth edition, it is even more complete. This edition carries on the tradition of CRC Press handbook excellence, listing the formulations, methods of preparation, and uses for more than 7,000 microbiological media. With 1,500 more entries than any previous edition, the handbook includes both classic and modern media used for the identification, cultivation, and maintenance of diverse bacteria, archaea, and fungi.

The breadth of culture media in this comprehensive resource is enormous and has greatly expanded in recent years with the exploration of extreme habitats and the use of molecular methods to identify new lineages of bacteria and archaea. The media also represent significant advances in the ability to use chromogenic substrates to identify specific species and strains of bacteria, e.g., E. coli O157 and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These media are extremely useful for clinical diagnostics and for the protection of the food supply from pathogenic microorganisms.

With over 7,000 formulations, this new edition includes all the media used for:

  • Routine examination of food and water
  • Cultivating specific strains of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and protists, including many anaerobes and extremophiles
  • Cultivating the numerous microorganisms currently available from the world’s global bioresource centers (BRCs)

Additionally, many culture media are now available that are free of animal components. Plant-based media eliminate possible contamination with prions, which is important for production of vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

The entries are arranged alphabetically by medium name and include composition, instructions for preparation, commercial sources, safety cautions, uses, and more. This reference contains the most comprehensive compilation of microbiological media available in a single volume. The only resource you need for all media types, it makes finding media for culturing diverse microorganisms quick and simple. With uniform presentations of media formulations and preparations, it presents easy-to-follow directions and cookbook recipes for preparing media. You won’t find a more complete or user-friendly microbiology reference anywhere.

Table of Contents

Names of Media
Composition of Media
Meat and Plant Extract
Growth Factors
Selective Components
Differential Components
pH Buffers
Preparation of Media
Caution about Hazardous Components
Uses of Media
Sources of Media
Web Resources


Author Bio(s)

Ronald M. Atlas, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Editorial Reviews

The commercial availability of standard bacteriological media has largely eliminated the need for preparation of such media by most laboratories. As a result, the composition of such media is generally overlooked. Atlas provides an encyclopedia on the subject as well as a comprehensive reference containing compositions of all standard media. The book begins with an overview of the subject, defining terms and providing an extensive list of references. This section includes a summary of sterilization techniques ranging from historical (Tyndallization) to contemporary (modern autoclave). The inclusion of Web resources provides an additional source of information. The major portion of the book consists of more than 7,000 formulations of media, both common and obscure and specialized, and methods of preparation. This latest edition also includes composition of media for identification of newly recognized pathogens such as Escherichia coli 0157 and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In addition to the specific media entries within the book, the index includes a listing of microorganisms along with media conducive for their growth. The volume would be a necessary reference for any academic or professional laboratory that is growing bacteria. Summing Up: Recommended.
—R. Adler, University of Michigan, Dearborn, CHOICE, April 2011

In this time-tested Handbook of Microbiological Media, the reader is presented with a resource meant to be used in a variety of laboratories … Handbook of Microbiological Media is notable for the wide-range of data presented … the information contained in this handbook will allow researchers to infiltrate the core of a given bacterium so as to understand how it grows and thrives and mutates (with the knowledge gleaned allowing scientists to implement safety-barriers to better protect the populous and its food supply from contamination).
The Electric Review, January 2011

Praise for the Previous Editions:
... an ambitious organization of the large number of different microbiological media that have been devised in the last century.... One’s first impression of this book is one of completeness.... Anyone interested in a specific medium should have no trouble finding it in this volume.
American Society for Microbiology News

… a volume that all working microbiologists will want on their shelves.... For all college and university reference shelves, upper-division undergraduate through professional.

A much-needed book ... It will be of extreme value to microbiologists worldwide.
—John G. Holt, Editor-in-Chief, Bergey's Manual Trust

… traverses the entire discipline of microbiology … an excellent resource for anyone associated with industrial, medical, veterinarian, and academic microbiology.
—James W. Snyder, University Hospital of Louisville, Kentucky

… visitors to my office pick it up and look through it more than any other texts… represents a very useful source of recipes covering a very wide range of micro-organisms and as such, is a ‘must-have’ reference book.
Society for General Microbiology